I got a chance to listen to Dr. Rajendra Hegde's talk about Organic Terrace Gardening. He works at the Vittal Mallya Scientifc ResearchFoundation. The session was informative especially to beginners. For a sample, see http://www.vmsrf.org/attachments/23august2012.pdf. To know about the next training schedule, see http://www.vmsrf.org/attachments/organic-terrace-garden-workshop.pdf.
During the talk, Dr. Rajendra Hegde introduced the concept of 'City Farming' or 'Urban Farming', and gave examples of Cuba and New York. He then spoke about organic terrace gardening and its benefits, and gardening tools and containers required. The main concept is to use the available material to create or use as containers. For example, a plastic bottle or a carton box can be re-used as a plant container. One can think creatively to use existing materials to make containers, and then grow plants in them.
The next session was about propagation methods - cuttings, seeds, bulbs, root division, and others, and a few examples of plants that can be propagated using these methods. Medicinal and aromatic plants were also introduced. Plant nutrients, composting, and soil preparation were not only discussed but also demonstrated. Questions about how much to grown on terrace garden and how to plan were discussed. Common problems and plant care were interesting sessions. With plants come the pests - mealy buds, aphids, white flies, and others.
Pest management is a time-consuming activity for most gardeners. Cultural method includes activities such as planting trap crops, keeping plants healthy, crop rotation, and so on. Mechanical method includes hand-picking eggs or larvae, removing unhealthy plants, and so on. Botanical method includes preparing chilli-garlic extract for aphids, sprinkling turmeric powder for ants, using neem products, and so on. Chemical method is not used at organic gardens!
Organic method uses organic products to manage pests and to grow healthy plants. The organic products available at the Vittal Mallaya Scientific Research Foundation are as follows:
- Jaivik Shakthi
- Neem Magic
For more information, see http://www.vmsrf.org/html/technologies.html. For more details about the topic or about the workshop, please contact:
Overall, the lecture session and the demonstration were interesting and informative.